Aurora Energy is seeking new partners and innovative solutions for future management of its electricity network, to help drive New Zealand’s efforts towards a decarbonised energy future.
Changes in technology, an increase in the number of people with electric vehicles and more people generating their own electricity has resulted in Aurora Energy looking for cost-effective, customer-focused energy solutions to meet the demand for electricity in fast-growing areas of its network.
Aurora Energy General Manager Asset Management and Planning Glenn Coates said non-network solutions (which excludes the usual approach of electricity poles and wires) will increasingly be a cost-effective way to manage growth.
“For companies like Aurora Energy, we need to ensure our network and operating systems can adapt to enable the uptake of new technologies. We are looking for peak demand reduction and non-network solutions that will not only help us defer spending on upgrading our network to cater for growth in areas like the Upper Clutha (Wanaka to Cromwell) but also fast track the use of technology that will help New Zealand move to electrification and decarbonisation as part of its climate change goals,” he said.
Aurora Energy partnered non-exclusively with solarZero in 2020 to provide non-network capacity support in Wanaka. Aurora Energy is now looking for opportunities to extend their use of non-network solutions to help manage growth on the network in the Upper Clutha, with other areas on the radar in the future.
“We are inviting all distributed energy resource providers, owners, flexibility traders, and new market entrants to contribute to our decarbonised energy future,” Mr Coates said. “This is being done through an Open Call, meaning all potential respondents will have the time and opportunity to get involved without the restrictions often set by a Request for Proposal process.”
Mr Coates said Aurora Energy is also interested in hearing from customers who generate their own electricity and who may already be in discussions with their retailers or flexibility traders to identify the best ways to feed back into the grid when demand is high, and how they can work together to optimise energy.
Aurora Energy is part of the South Island Distribution Group, which is a collaboration of the electricity distribution businesses across the South Island that are looking at the future of electricity distribution management, including how to incorporate innovative ways to manage capacity and peak demands. This includes seeking to understand how non-network solutions could be used as part of the network management mix, and whether the use of distributed energy resources could become a powerful contributor to transforming the distribution energy system by identifying new ways to help drive NZ’s decarbonisation goals.
Aurora Energy’s Open Call for non-network support in the Upper Clutha area is an Aurora Energy initiative, developed in collaboration with the South Island Distribution Group.
Interested parties can visit Aurora Energy’s website on non-network capacity support to register their interest.